Showing posts from February, 2008

More Industry Trends

I received my new AMA Greenbook today and not to be too self-serving, but there is a great summary of the Rockhopper Industry Trends Report at the front (Invoke helped with the research.)


The future looks bright for the research industry. Increased demand and higher billings are expected in 2007 and beyond. Notably, clients and providers, both small and large, are expecting the demand for research to grow. While budget control and concern over cost management is widespread, the desire for actionable, quality research is fueling the forecast for increased revenue. Several factors are driving this optimism:

Research is increasingly valued as a strategic necessity by clients. Providers and client research departments are delivering actionable results and guidance. Some, however, do still view research as a staff function and this view results in budget cuts during tough times. Those that demonstrate the positive role research can play are finding more projects and h…

Data Quality Webcast Take-Aways

Earlier this week, I watched an AMA webcast on data quality and the role of questionnaire design in ensuring it. It was much better than most of the seemingly hundreds I have watched on this topic and had three main take-aways.

Researchers need to take the time to construct a well thought out questionnaire that incorporates both research needs AND the respondent experience

It is essential to pre-test new methods, question sets, and complex designs prior to using them in a live study

Using technology and interactivity is essential, but make sure you are applying the right approach for the task.I couldn't agree more! Incorporating logical thought into the research process is key to higher quality and engagement and using technology built with engagement in mind (like Invoke and Vision Critical) makes the end result far more useful.

Watch the webcast here.

Billy Joel and the Objection of the Week

We do things a little differently here at Invoke and that is hard for some people to accept, but I had to share an objection that one of my sales reps recently received when trying to start a relationship.

"I’ve been in the MR business for 20 years, and based on that experience, I just don’t have faith in any methodology that tries to combine qualitative and quantitative data. "

Really? I never used to believe that I could pause live television or have an electronic map in my car, but I am not giving up my TiVo and GPS system!!!!!!!!

Its true that some people have cobbled together quali-quant solutions that don't really work, but we have developed our Engage platform specifically for this purpose and if it didn't work, companies like Microsoft, Washington Mutual, Harris Interactive, and Millward Brown wouldn't adopt it.

Billy Joel might as well have been singing about the research industry when he said: "The good old days weren't all so good and tomorrow ain…

A Customer Survey That Didn't Really Want My Opinion

I just completed a survey about my shopping experience where only one question was open ended, and it was a throw away.

“Do you have any other comments about your recent visit to XXXXXX? If so, please use the space below. Otherwise, click ‘continue.’”

I do appreciate that they gave me the customer service number and hours to call with comments and complaints. A nice touch. One that was a bit undermined when they tried to get me on their email list.

Back to the lack of open ends... don’t they want to know why I rated their check out staff and ease of finding products so poorly? I know I would if the survey was about my company!

Top Industry Issues

Some tidbits from the Confirmit Research Software report in this month's Quirk's...MR professionals across the world consider falling response rates to be the No. 1 challenge facing the industry. So-called professional respondents and availability of sample to conduct research are problems two and three, respectively. All of the nominated top three sit squarely on the respondent-facing side of the research triangle, revealing an industry concerned about its raw material above all else.

Time and cost - classic business issues - are rated highly in the overall mix (we asked respondents to select up to three challenges) but come well down the list of No. 1 worries. These are issues more within the control of the research companies themselves. Ten percent of respondents consider turnaround time (from fieldwork to delivery) the top issue, but 37 percent have it as one of their top three concerns, just one point behind professional respondents and availability of sample as overall co…

Who are you trying to reach?

Today I received invitations to a whole bunch of surveys through one of the leading panel providers. Two in particular jumped out and made me wonder if people really care about the quality of the people they are trying to research.

Second title: "Do you travel?"

Lets just say i left my 5 dollars on the table. This experience left me with three questions:

1. Do researchers just want completes or do they want people who are interested in the topic to offer their feedback?

2. Do researchers think people only take surveys for the money?

3. How much thought is going into the email titles and invitations that are such a critical component of the process?

With all of the free expertise in email marketing available, researchers need to apply marketing best practices to email invitations. The quality of responses depends on it.

Today's survey

Now this is good research... (sarcasm intended).

Today I was asked if I have "bought or used any shampoo in the past 4 weeks." Really?

A little logic never hurt in writing a questionnaire and a little respect for people who take surveys drives better answers and engagement.

Why people take surveys...

Taken from a full article in the SSI newsletter:

As part of an SSI panel discussion at Insight 2007 in London recently they included Elaine Barker, a real member of the UK OpinionWorld community, shared her personal viewpoint on being a research respondent. Barker said she takes surveys because she enjoys it. "I'm a lady of a certain age and semi-retired now so it helps keep my mind occupied." SSI's research confirms that Barker is not alone.

The majority of people surveyed in France, Germany, and the Netherlands are intrinsically motivated and say they take surveys because they want to give their opinions. Influencing decisions and the designs of products and services is also high on the list of reasons, as are incentives and sweepstakes.

Still, survey-taking can be frustrating, and occasionally people drop out before they finish surveys. SSI research reveals that one reason people drop out of surveys is because of repetitive questions. In addition, respondents become …

Research Findings: Consumers Say Green is Nice, Taste is Better

Last week Invoke Solutions, with help from their partners Added-Value and Greenfield Online, conducted an interactive quali-quant research session with over 250 adults about “ethical marketing,” green consumption, and its actual impact on purchase decisions. This 60-minute session is part of Invoke’s monthly Invoke Live research program.

Invoke found that over 87% of participants claimed that it was very or somewhat important to purchase from brands that are committed to acting socially and/or environmentally responsible. 78% claimed to have taken active steps to change their behavior to be “a more responsible consumer.”

Still, there was a dose of reality to the responses. “My primary responsibility is to my family,” said one participant. “I have always tried to find the best cost value and best nutritional value of whatever I purchase. If it happens to also be a "green" company or container or whatever, then all the better. But my primary responsibility is to my family, becau…

Do your participants thank you at the end of a survey?

Comments from the end of a 60-minute Engage Open interactive research session... with over 200 participants and no live moderator! I bet you don't get these on your normal quantitative studies.
"Thank you for this opportunity. I like to voice my opinion and this is great way to make that happen!" “thanks this was fun” “Thank you peter” “I had a great time and hope your products are in the market soon, bye” “Thank you for having me!” “Thank you for letting me give my opinion” “Thank you for your time Peter! Have a good weekend!” “i really enjoyed taking this discussion. thanks again” “yes this was very interesting thank you for letting me participate” “Different, but very interesting survey. It involved some very important issues” “had a great time sorry it ended so soon”

Research Findings: Green Issues Matter, But Won’t Decide Presidential Election

Last week Invoke Solutions engaged participants in a discussion of green issues and their role in the upcoming election. The group was split politically between Democrats (43%), Republicans (34%) and Independents (23%).

Across the board people agreed that environmental issues were important but that they would not be the driving force in who they vote for. In fact only 34% would definitely not vote for a candidate that they disagreed with on environmental issues. In the words of one participant, “There are other issues that I find more important, but environmental issues could get my vote if two candidates were the same on everything else.”

Participants named the three most important issues to them in the upcoming election with the economy being by far the most important (50% ranked it first). The full rankings were 1) Economy; 2) Healthcare; 3) Foreign policy; 4) Immigration; 5) Homeland security; 6) Taxes; 7) Education; 8) Social Security; 9) Climate change; 10) Energy policy; 11) Cul…


It took longer than it should have, but today I am officially converted. After spending over 8 years in the marketing research industry I have decided that "traditional" methods are NOT better than new ones.

You see, here at Invoke we're launching a new "product" right now called Engage Open which is an adaptation of our core business - live, interactive, quali-quant research sessions. Please note that I am not a researcher, although I could play one on tv easily.

This is what I know. On Thursday I made some changes to a 60-minute Engage Open research session about "Green Marketing," adding some questions pertaining to the presidential campaign and the impact of "Green issues" on people's perception of the candidates. On Friday I watched responses roll in via our Observer Dashboard. And by Sunday I had well over 250 completes with a wealth of verbatims, quantitative answers, and people thanking the "moderator" for the experienc…

I'm with Sven

“…Qual and Quant are natural bedfellows. Data should be borne in mind when a qualitative study is being reviewed, and conversely, the “why” question should be top of mind when weighing up the results of any quantitative research.”

- Sven Arn; HTP Concept from the ESOMAR Global Market Research Report 2007